Spoiler Alert: Please note that the questions below contain spoilers.
During Josh’s description of his childhood experiences from Chapters Eight through Twelve, what passages or images suggest an overlap between Josh’s memory of that time in his life, the reality of his near-death experience and Leah’s ghostly presence at his bedside?
After Josh wakes up in the hospital, were you aware that Leah was a ghostly presence? What clues can you identify that suggest she was not an active resident doctor at the hospital and not a living person? What elements suggest that she was a living person? How would you explain these?
The issue of the line drawn through the request for a psychiatric consultation in Josh’s medical chart is never resolved. Discuss what you believe happened with his chart and why there were no notes about his alleged interviews with Leah.
Discuss the author’s use of color in the novel when describing the various settings, clothing and events.
Discuss the following passage from the end of Chapter Forty-six: “A bluebird landed in a tree across from where we sat. For a long while I sat in Josh’s arms, admiring the bird’s vivid plumage until she lifted off the branch and flew away again.”
Have you had a near-death experience, or know another person who has? What was it like for you or them? What do you believe about the phenomenon?
Analyze the dreams that Josh has in Chapters Thirty-two, Fifty, and Fifty-four.
Do you believe Holly’s mother was right to take her husband back so quickly after their separation? Do you believe their marriage has a bright future? Why or why not?
Discuss Dr. James as a husband and father. Was there anything to admire about how he conducted himself? Do you believe there is hope that he can change?